27. Mr. Andy Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is taking to reduce theft from shops.
§ Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is taking against theft from shops.
§ Mr. John Patten
The prevention of theft from shops is primarily a matter for the retailers themselves. We support the retailers in a range of ways; through the advice on preventive measures contained in the 1986 report of the Home Office standing conference on crime prevention working group on shop theft, our crime prevention handbook "Practical Ways to Crack Crime" and crime prevention unit research papers, and in meetings with retailers and their representative organisations. It is encouraging that the number of offences of theft from shops fell by 12 per cent. in 1988 and that the number of offences has fallen by almost a quarter since 1985.